August 5, 2020

With Mother’s Mind and Mother’s Hands

Tejendra Gautam from Kathmandu, Nepal

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Around noon on April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. All of a sudden, everything began to shake, and it seemed like the sky was falling and the ground was sinking. The members who were having a peaceful Sabbath day were shocked by the violent shaking; they held on to the pillars or banisters, and some lost their balance and fell. I never knew how frightening an earthquake could be until that day.

When the shaking stopped, we went out to look around. Thanks to God, there was almost no damage to the church building, and the members were all safe. However, so many places, including the downtown of Kathmandu, had been ruined; buildings collapsed helplessly, and countless people were buried under the collapsed buildings. As aftershocks continued, the survivors were seized with fear.

We, the members of Zion, too, were in great shock, but we pulled ourselves together and rolled up our sleeves because it was very urgent to search survivors and restore the city. Our major job was to remove all the dangerous parts of collapsed buildings so that there wouldn’t be a secondary damage. Demolishing the collapsed walls completely, removing broken bricks, making paths by cleaning up debris . . . Our work continued. We also pitched tents for people who had lost their homes, provided them with food, and cleaned up the streets so that there would be no epidemic.

When we were done cleaning up, working in the dust under the scorching sun, our faces got so dirty that we couldn’t even recognize each other. Although the members must be very tired from the hard work, they came again to the repair site the next day. Although I told them to have some rest, they smiled and said, “I’m not tired. I’ll come again tomorrow.”

Actually, most members were not well-off. However, they endured sacrifices to help people suffering from the great disaster which they had never experienced before. They resembled Mother who sacrifices Herself with love for Her children instead of taking care of Herself.

People must’ve felt our members’ heartfelt efforts. As the news about our sincere volunteer services spread here and there, people welcomed us whenever we went out to the road to work with our yellow vests on. Some brought drinks and snacks for us, and when we were taking a little break, some let us sit in the shade. Even the police praised our hard work. Whenever we heard a compliment, we praised God.

It seems to take much time to restore Nepal the way it was. What we need until then is love. To restore the city and embrace the injured victims, we the Nepalese members will not stop putting Mother’s love into practice. We eagerly pray that the people in Nepal will gain hope and courage through Mother’s love.

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